The Indian retail industry is considered one of the fastest growing industries in the world and technology has emerged as a helping hand to the industry. India is expected to become the world’s third largest consumer economy, reaching US$ 400 billion in consumption by 2025, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group. By 2018, the Indian retail sector is likely to grow at a CAGR of 13 percent to reach US$ 950 billion, as per the IBEF report.
Retail business and technological interventions
Retailers today are not fighting with retailers anymore; instead they’re fighting with diff erent technological interventions in order to be the most competitive in the world. A good technological intervention is no less than a magic wand. It facilitates a retail player with entire supply chain information – details of inventory, information about problems faced by distributors and vendors, and shares customer feedback as well. One really needs to be wise enough to choose a nice connect-promote-transact platform, where all handlers of the retail industry, right from manufacturers to the last mile consumers, can connect together, engage directly and transact via a dynamic platform.
Giant players of the retail industry have accepted technology with arms wide open to captivate and secure customers and have made optimum use of technology to optimize their business. Whereas small retailers, most of them belonging to the unorganized sector, are yet to adopt technology to be adept with the changes and technological innovations taking place in the retail market. If the entire unorganized retail trade, which is 80 percent of the entire retail trade, adopts technology, the retail industry will usher in a new era providing a much needed thrust to the Indian economy. Technology is the knight on the white horse that will ride the retail market towards prosperity and triumph.
Opportunity for small retailers
The ballooning of e-commerce and the initiation of mobile commerce have lifted the stakes of small and unorganized enterprises and they feel threatened. Small retailers should take this as an opportunity rather than a challenge to optimize their businesses. Small retailers should now upgrade their technology according to the evolving marketplace through enhanced speed and flexibility. In order to survive, small players need defined marketing channels, and here, technology acts as a powerful medium. The biggest effect of technology is on customer outreach.
Now, customer experience is no longer limited to browsing or buying certain goods in physical shops. It extends to an end-to-end journey, commencing with the customer researching the products on the web, coming into a shop or ordering online to buy and continuing well after the purchase has been finalized with feedback.
Customers leave bits of information that some retailers tend to ignore but employing a good retail tech platform helps avert leakages in the entire supply chain, right from the big brand to retailer, distributor, to end consumers. Some technologies have a horizontal communication model where each leg of the retail value chain interacts freely with the other, resulting in an enhanced transparency quotient in retail business. Lately, such technological platforms offer services which allow users to get refills and make orders to collect, as well as look at deals in store, sending coupons to your app to encourage visiting a store and redeeming them.
Technology, if amalgamated with the intervention of retail-engagement platforms, has the potential to reduce costs, improve efficiency, expand markets and increase customer satisfaction, making the business and partnership a productive venture.
Everyone knows that online retail needs offline presence too, to serve the consumers comprehensively and facilitate communications across channels. Thus, smaller retailers’ combined prowess will only force big players to up their game in the coming times.